This week has been crazy!!! I have been so sick and useless just can’t do anything. Needless to say it was a week of ice cream and popsicles as my chest was on fire with a nasty head cold.
Today is the first day that I actually have energy to write.
Soooooo with that said, my sewing room is a disaster!! I have so many projects started and my son that everything is all over the place. This was before my son threw all his toys everywhere, lol. NOW I can’t even walk in there!! Oh my! But that’s life.
So I thought I would talk about my experience with a Burda University Class that I had paid for online at the Burda Style Academy website.
I purchased this sew along I believe in the Spring of 2017 from Burda University online. I believe they were having a half off sale and I got it for $10.00. This is under their on demand Sew along tab.
This course was taught by Meg Healy was 87 min. long. The dress is a maxi dress that I tend to wear in the summer and the best part is that it has no zipper.
The class came with the downloaded pdf pattern and instructions.
I felt that Meg was really great. She went through each step and didn’t miss a beat. I must say that I did not struggle with any of the instructions (as sometimes I do on the Craftsy classes).
Meg went in order and explained everything.
I used a light sheer chiffon island print (thought would fit well with class, LOL I believe I got this fabric from JoAnn’s back in 2012 when I first started sewing.
I paired it with this lavender purple bemberg lining from JoAnns as well.
This dress turned out perfect!!!
I actually wore it quite a bit last summer. Sorry no pic’s of me in it.
But I am really glad I took this course.
I purchased a few other sew alongs, but I haven’t started them yet. I believe I have the bomber jacket and jean jacket.
So we have just ended the 1st week of February 2018 and last week was the first week of my challenge of trying to work on sewing goals and eating better.
Welllll, so things never work out as plan, lol.
So there were a lot of things happening last week.
Monday – we had tons of snow on Sunday so school was closed. Had to hire a babysitter and work through lunch to pick up son early. This meant no time to work out as goal is to workout on lunch in my office using dvds. But ate very healthy!
Tuesday – I cut out my Simplicity 8511 dress pattern! And did a 45 min workout on lunch and stayed within calorie limit.
Wednesday – hmmm son had a bad cough, kept him home from daycare and called into work. But did do 1/2 run on treadmill when he took nap. I also was able to do pattern adjustments to S8511 and cut out all the fabric. I did pin pattern together to ensure fit and looks great. Ate only 1200 calories.
Thursday – son up all night with flu, didn’t get no sleep. Need I say more!!! Nothing done. Did great on eating!
Okay, also changed mind on sewing projects, stopped S8511 and decided to make son some more sleepers.
My almost 3 year old is obsessed with Batman and Pirates of the Caribbean the 5th one. He has all the characters and loves to play with them everyday.
He loves wearing sleepers with feet. His favorite is Batman with a fleece batman hat that was poorly made in China. His Batman sleeper and hat are completely falling apart.
Onto Joann’s. I found the greatest material. I found superhero fleece, Justice League Snuggle Flannel, and Batman cotton knit. Along with some plain fleece to make all sorts of hats:
I also found this quilting like cotton of Pirates of the Caribbean (his favorite movie) fabric at Joann’s:
It is only 44″ wide so I bought 4 yards of it. It is not intended for sleepwear so I am still debating about what to make.
I am kind of thinking a lined spring hoodie?
Blanket? Quilt? Some type of Poster?
What do you think?
Friday: Finally went to work, but had so much work that I worked through lunch, no workout, but still ate pretty good. No sewing either.
Saturday: I felt horrible. Chest cold and yet more dreary snow. No sewing and ate ice cream, oh well what can you do:)))
Sunday: Finally naptime sewing, oh yeah!! Doing the superhero fleece sleeper. But the pattern I have has button down the front and no feet. So I changed it to be a 24″ zipper down front and adding feet. I am about halfway done. Had ice cream again, but still stayed good with calorie range.
End Results: Good week, not weighing self, but eating better. No time for book reading, or much else, but so happy to be making stuff for the little guy. I did do a template of the hat. Now, all I need is time. Stay tune for fun hats coming up. I hope to finish my dress too!!
That’s it for now! Let me know what I should make on out of the pirate fabric, I am open to anything. He wears a 3T right now.
Well I don’t know about you, but I know that my biggest challenge in sewing has been my weight.
I know that sewing offers so much more opportunity to adjust to your weight than buying RTW clothes.
But now a days, it seems that by the time I get done making something, it is too tight.
The reason why, weight gain. I am beginning to research how to let pants out, lol:)
For me, weight has always been an obession of mine. Coming from a long line of heridetary fat genes on both sides, it is hard not to be concerned.
I go between a size 6 an a size 16 all the time. For instance, if I do:
1200 calories a day and workout 2.5 hours a day, I can be a size 6 (usually that only lasts about 2 weeks).
I can be a size 8 if I do between 1.5 and 1 hours a day with 1200 calories a day.
A size 10 (which was my norm) by working out 1 hour a day with 1200-1400 calories a day.
A size 12 with 1 hour a day and 1500 to 1800 calories a day.
If I stop working out, but just try to walk here an there and eat whatever I want, well, I just keep going up. This is what I have been doing, going up. I am almost to a size 16.
Here is one of my skinnier dresses I made when I was a size 8 in RTW about 4 years ago.
Now that I am 41, I am realizing that a number means nothing. It is how you feel. But the problem is, I don’t feel well. I can’t really run with my almost 3 year old and my back is giving me problems for not being strong enough to carry little one around.
So for this year, I have put together some goals for 2018:
Try to be healthier. I am currently a size 14 in RTW about to head to a 16, because everything is tight. I refuse to get on the scale. Do this by watching what I eat without being obsessive, and trying to fit in workouts when I can. This does not mean a specific number, but by monitoring how I feel.
Since I am not going to pay attention to numbers, I will need to be more cautious of what garments I am going to sew. So I have decided to make a wish list of items that would work with my body type, both high and low.
Here are the garments that I think would work best for me:
Simplicity 8511– Shift Dress – I think this works good because it allows for extra room. Then if I lose weight, I can always add a belt to cinch the waist.
Simplicity 8465 – Knit Top – This is knit, need I say more???
Concord T-Shirt from Cashmerette-T-Shirts are great staples for me, espically on the weekend, and it’s knit.
Dartmouth Top from Cashmerette– Another knit that I feel helps shape the body with the V-neck and wrap.
Mcalls M7121– Long Maxi Dress – I live in Maxi dresses in the summer and they fit so great whether small or large. Also another knit garment.
Charlie Caftan Patternfrom Closet Case Patterns – Everyone did this one last summer, taking a closer look at it, I can see why. It looks so comfortable and again will work whether big or small.
Kelly Anorak Jacketfrom Closet Case Patterns – I love this jacket, I need a nice comfortable fall jacket and this one looks like it could fit many sizes.
Bombshell Swimsuitfrom Closet Case Patterns – Hmmmm taking a risk with this one, but it’s a one piece. I have such a long torso, that I have never been able to find a one piece. So excited to make this one!!!
Mid-Rise Ginger Jeansfrom Closet Case Patterns – I did make these already and they were great, but were super tight, as I had put on weight from start to finish. But I seen a pair of Liz Clairborne in JCP and they have stretch elastic all within the waistband. So I might add this to mine. Also instead of long jeans, I am thinking that I am going to make them capris’ as I live in those all summer.
Morris Blazerfrom Grainline Studio – Yet another Knit. I like these for Spring and Fall. This one looks like you can leave it open, so again will work with weight gain or loss.
Mcalls 7364– Relaxed pants. I really like these for summer. Here in Michigan we get so many warm days and my little one likes to play outside. They look like elastic around the waist, so these should be comfortable and allow me to chase the little one around.
Sequoia Cargos & Shortsfrom Itch to Stitch – I am not sure these will work for me, but they sure look comfortable. I like that they are from a knit.
Blackwood Cardiganfrom Helen’s Closet – for Spring. I love my Blackwood cardigan I made and wear them daily. So for Spring/Summer I think I am going to make out of a real light sweater knit and shorten the sleeves to 3/4.
Brasov Warp Topfrom Itch to Stitch – Yes, I made this already, but I love how it covers you up. I can bend down and nothing is hanging out, if you get my drift, lol. With a little one, that is a necessity. I do find myself wearing mine at least once a week, so yes, I need another one. It is also a knit.
Lago Tank from Itch to Stitch – I love tank tops for summer. I like the fact that I can sew and make the neckline higher. Again so nothing hangs out. Everything in RTW is always so low!!!
Slimfit Raglanfrom Patterns for Pirates – A knit, surprise, surprise!!
Kerry Cargo Pantfrom Style Arc – These look cool and comfortable, may not add all pockets to keep the bulk down, but will try anyways.
Vouge 9299Misses Top and Belt – This dress looks so cute, so I will have to give it a try!
Here is my 2018 wishlist.
My final thoughts on this. I don’t put a lot of emphasis on losing or gaining weight. I have been up and down for so long that it doesn’t really matter.
I have tried the so called “Lifestyle” change, but hey for me it doesn’t work. I have the hardest time being consistent and maintaining. Here I am at 41 and realizing, that this is just the way life is, take it or leave it. One day your up and one day your down.
So for me, this is going to be a journey to do the best that I can do. I will try each day with the best intentions, but hey, if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay.
So instead of beating myself up, I am going to use sewing to benefit me. Sewing gives me such therapeutic care that I don’t want to stop.
So instead of making what’s on trend or what I think looks cute, I will take greater care to select garments that will work with me, small or big. Garments that I know will fit weather I am small or big by the time I get done sewing, even if it ends up on the UFO pile, lol.
So come along and see where this journey takes me!!!
I was not planning on doing this dress, but when I saw this dress (particularly the one with the purple belt) I fell in love with it. It is describe as a fit and flare dress with a gathered skirt, side seam, and pockets. I love pockets!!!
I had purchased this lovely Navy/Fire Red/Pine/Off White 100% Polyester from Fabric Mart as a Precut. I received 4 yards of it.
The pattern called for at least 5 yards for my size. But in viewing the pattern, it seems that the Obi belt pattern piece was quite large. In viewing this, I figured that I could get away with making the dress using the 4 yards of the fabric I had.
Andddddd Yes, I was correct!!!!
However, when it came to the belt I did struggle with what to do.
The dress came together very easy and the directions were very clear.
I put in an invisible zipper and even sewed up the zipper sides so they matched the dress.
I did have to grade from a medium at neck and arm and grade out to a large. I knew since it was a gathered skirt I could get away with the large around the hips versus the extra large.
It did not call for lining, but I went ahead and did an interlining of the same material for the bodice, as it seemed that the fabric was too thin for my liking.
I did all about 2 inches to the hem as I thought it would be too short for my liking. I am 5’6″ and prefer my hem to come just above my knees. I have a short waist and long torso, so this worked well for me.
It didn’t take that long to put together.
The sleeves were easy to put in and the finished dress looked great.
Now, onto the belt. I don’t own many belts and what I do own tend to be my pre baby size of a medium. I am not about an xl in RTW clothes. So do I buy one??? Well I must admit, it is hard to get to the store with a 2 year old.
Do I order online, hmmmmm, well I would rather pick one out in person, plus the prices seem awfully high for a belt.
So the only option is to make on. But I need to find a matching material. I had this olive green fabric that I have had in my stash for years now. I believe it was 100% polyester and came from Joann’s on clearance.
So I cut it out just like how the fabric piece said to cut it out for the obi belt. Well, lets just say the tie in front that looks so great on Mimi, does not look so great for me. Now what? SO I took a couple of bracelets and thought I could design something special.
Okay, even though the one with the bracelet (the one on the righ) was my favorite, I could figure out how to make it work. The tie in the back didn’t look so great either.
So I made an actual obi belt with the same fabric I had. I self drafted the belt, and cut it out with my main fabric and then did bias tape all the way around with the green fabric to accent it out. I love it!!
Here are some picture of it on me, as you can see it really accents my waist and seems to be a good fit for me.
Well that’s it for now. Next week I will be reviewing the Sunny Top I did for the Sew My Style January competition!
Here in Michigan it has been so cloudy and dull lately. January has always been a hard month for me. I think it is for everyone.
It’s still dark in the morning, cloudy all day, cold, snowy, and dark early. But brighter days are on their way!!
This is inspired me to pick this gorgeous green teal color to make my Itch to Stitch Brasov Wrap Top.
I choose this top because of the high neckline. I don’t know about you, but every time I buy a store bought top, they always come down so low that I have to wear a tank top or cami underneath. Then even the tank top or cami tends to go low whenever I bend down.
With a two year old, you are always bending down, lol!!!
I actually love this top! I didn’t make any changes. I am pear so I did grade from a Medium at neckline and down to an xtra large at the hip area.
Being an ity knit, I was really worried about all the pleats in this top.
The ones on the side are a little messy because I forgot how to do a pleat, lol and had to redo.
There were 5 pleats on the side and 2 pleats on each side at the top.
The instructions were very clear and helped a lot. I did use some knit fusible tape to help keep the facining intact and not flip out.
I love the high neckline and the length of the top. I am 5’6″ with a long torso and wide hips. I love the sleeve length and the color. I find this top very flattering on myself.
I bought this ity knit from Frabic Mart. I have already worn this top a couple of times and have had not issues of it stretching out.
I will definitely be making more of these tops in the future!!
Today at work, I was listening to the most recent ‘Love To Sew’ Podcast. I just love listening to sewing podcasts at work, when I can. There are times when I need to concentrate and can not have any distractions, and other times when I just data input. PS. it’s a numbers job (lol)!!
Anyway, btw, the ‘Love to Sew’ Podcast was talking about the SMYLY 2018 Challenge, which is the Sewing Makes you Love Yourself challenge.
This challenge was organized by Athina Kakou, Lisa Kish, and Hattie Van Der Krohn. This challenge is all about sharing your sewing story and about how sewing has helped you through rough times, anxiety, sparked creativity.
This is wonderful!!!
It got me thinking, how has sewing helped me?????
Well, to be honest, I don’t think I can live without sewing.
I started sewing in 2012, on a whim just because I love fashion and thought I would be good at it.
I fell in love with it right away. There was so much to learn, here is my first garment:
It was a wreck, lol, hahaha. I remember I knew nothing of interfacing and actually burnt a hole through my fabric trying to apply the interfacing (I left the iron on the interfacing too long). I also didn’t understand anything about facing (see the neckline). But I made it anyway and wore it with pride.
That is, until I realized how much I messed up. But practice makes perfect and try, try again.
Then in 2014, at age 37, I decided to get pregnant. I ended up with a miscarriage my first go around and went from a size 8 to a size 12 from the depression of it. It also took 4 months of going to get blood drawn every week to determine when I could start trying again.
I stopped working out, but I didn’t stop sewing. I even made this during that time. Okay, well it was still too small. At that time didn’t know how to do grading, pattern alterations, or about fit. But since it was knit, it was forgiving and the colors helped me feel better.
Then after my husband and I gave up trying to have a baby and made plans to go to Vegas that Christmas, I found out I was pregnant!!!
I made my maternity dresses and they worked great!. But after I had the baby, I had to stop sewing. I realized later, that I was suffering post partum depression.
The little guy had colic, didn’t sleep and cried all the time. I took a 4 month maternity leave, so I was basically alone with him all the time while my husband was at work and was now a size 16.
When the little guy was 6 months, he was outgrowing all his sleep sacks (he’s tall). If you don’t know what it is, it is what it sounds like, lol. A sack with no arms and it zips up so you don’t have to wrap him up in a blanket.
While the store bought ones were thin and expensive. I decided I can make him a nice heavy fleece one (since winter was coming on) for very cheap and as long as I wanted and I could make arms and attach mitten cover ups for his hands!
It worked and sewing started again.
From the time he was born till the time I sewed the sack, I knew something was missing in my life. I felt that something was wrong. I was weak, sad, depressed. I wanted my take charge, independent, fierce, personality back!
Once I started sewing the sack, I realized that I needed sewing to regain who I was. Sewing has allowed me to learn. (I thrive on learning). But it has allowed me to also be creative. I love that I get to pick my fabric and wear something that no one has.
I love the compliments on my clothing, as I am still struggling with weight. But getting complainants on your clothes and amazement that you made the garment has helped me feel better about my weight.
I used to work out 1 to 2 hours a day everyday before I got pregnant and always a size 8. Now I don’t really work out and fluctuate between size 12 and 14.
I still struggle with how to balance everything. Can I work full time, pick up child from daycare, drop off, make supper, do laundry, clean house, take care of dog, and find time to sew and work out????
Hmmm, right now I am choosing sewing over working out. Working out makes me feel good, but sewing makes me feel great!!! I feel the mental aspects of sewing are outweighing the working out factor.
Does this mean that I gave up on working out?? No!!. For now I wear the fit bit with goals of getting 5000 -7000 steps in daily. I try to walk to the farthest bathroom at work. I try to take breaks and do a little walk at work. Once winter goes away, I will be back to chasing after the little one outside again.
Trying to fit everything in, has been challenging, but I will not give up my sewing. Sewing has brought back the new me. Here is my most recent dress:
I am currently making another dress by MiMi G and am just about done. I am even getting creative on the belt making process. So far the dress I am making, makes me feel spectacular!!!
So what does sewing mean to you? How does it make you happy? Are you going to enter the challenge?
Well I made this dress up in December, but have not had time to post anything on it.
Can I just say that I love this dress. I have already worn it 3 times!!
This is the Jessica Dress from Mimi G:
I know she has the bottom open in her picture, but as seen from the drawing, you can do buttons all the way down like I did.
Mimi also has a sewing tutorial on this on You Tube, which I used, but her instructions are so great that I didn’t really need the video.
I did everything via PDF. I have a lunch hour to kill, so I usually don’t mind printing up PDF patterns and cutting and taping on my lunch. (I live too far to drive home and back and trying to stay away from fast food, lol).
It didn’t take long to put this dress together.
The fabric was this great Black/Blueberry 100% Rayon Snakeskin Print Crep from Fabric Mart. I was a little thin, so I did underline the top with the same material for the bodice part.
I love the sweetheart neckline which I think is very flattering. I also love the princess seams.
I had to gather the skirt by hand (per instructions), but I am seriously considering getting a gathering for my machine, does anyone know if that works better?
Or Clover has this Fuse ‘n Gather that is supposed to work well. Has anyone tried this? I might have to give it a go. Right now Amazon has it for $12.39 and it’s Prime if you have that. Looks like has 3 1/2 stars out of 5 so I am not sure.
Anyway, as usually I taped the PDF together and did flat comparison measurements to see if I needed any adjustments. Surprisingly, I didn’t need any!!! Win-Win.
I did grade it. I did about a medium for the upper bust and graded out to an XL for the hips. But I like that since it is not so tight, I think I had some wiggle room.
This came together so easy. However, when it came time for the hemming, the dress was longer than I wanted so I chopped off about 4 inches off the hem.
I think it turned out great and so comfortable to wear. And yes, that is the Georgia turtleneck that I made as well. Goes great to really show off the ruffles.
I like that it fits the body, but it is not super tight. I also like the black belt that I put on the mannequin on the 1st picture, but the belt didn’t look so good on me. The belt is a medium and I am about an XL right now.